It’s been a rough week for the Seattle Mariners, and its coming at a bad time. Following a successful road trip highlighted by taking two of three from the Tigers and a sweep of the Red Sox, Seattle has gone 1-4 on their current home stand heading into the series finale with the Washington Nationals. Since the Nationals have taken the first two games, Seattle will lose both series before hitting the road again. Going into September, it looks like a four team race for the last Wild Card spot in the American League. Seattle is now 1.5 games behind the A.L. Central runner-up (currently the Tigers and Royals are tied for the division lead) and 2 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees.
Not Home Sweet Home? With a current 1-4 home stand, Seattle will end August with no better than a .500 record at home. They are 35-36 at Safeco Field going into today’s game. They are elven games over .500 on the road at 37-26, best in the American League. Even the Angels, who are 9.5 games ahead of Seattle in the A.L. West, are only 7 games over .500 on the road (36-29). So, there is a silver lining for Seattle hitting the road starting tomorrow.
Ahead of Schedule. I thought going into this season that best case scenario the Mariners would flirt with .500. Hisashi Iwakuma was injured, and the rotation looked very unsettled after Felix Hernandez. Hernandez has put together a Cy Young quality season, but the rotation has held their own behind him thanks to a rookie and a guy who wasn’t even with Seattle in Spring Training. Roenis Elias has had a spectacular rookie season going 9-12 with a 3.97 ERA in 149.2 IP. Chris Young, who Seattle picked up right before the season after being cut by the Nationals, has gone 12-6 with a 3.17 ERA in 150.1 IP. Young has matched a career high in wins tying his win total with Texas in 2005, and he has thrown the most innings he has since 2007 with the Padres.
Up Ahead. The Mariners’ schedule is going to become very A.L. West-centric. Except for a four game trip to Toronto near the end of the season, every game after today will be against an A.L West opponent. So, basically, Seattle will have a weird division of playing the two best teams in the American League, the A’s and Angels, and the two worst teams record wise, the Astros and Rangers. The Mariners will be done with Texas after a four-game trip next week, and they will have thirteen games against the A’s and Angels starting with three in Oakland tomorrow. Seattle currently has a winning record vs. the Angels (7-5) and the A’s (7-6). The downfall is they have no games remaining with the teams they are battling with for that final Wild Card spot (the Tigers, Royals, Indians, and Yankees).